In the Dundee and District Youth League, there is one team that stands above the rest, St Murdoch 2002s. They have been able to maintain a great record throughout the season and earned themselves a six point lead over second place Lincraig. I caught up with the assistant manager Stuart Tough to find out how they have achieved this record.
Stuart believes that their training has greatly improved and is one of the main reasons for their success. Stuart said “Working hard at training has helped us to play as a team rather than individuals.” Teamwork is an obvious factor in any successful team and St Murdochs seem to have figured out how to use their team chemistry and skill to win games.
After playing eleven games, they have had one that could’ve taken them off to a poor start. The 1st game of the season against St Andrews, away from home was a nail-biter for St Murdochs. Stuart commented “We were 3-1 up at half time and somehow we ended up being down 5-3. We had to make a lot of changes due to injuries but to see the boys battle back and make it 5-5 was very satisfying.” The teamwork and chemistry must have been an enormous factor in remaining motivated after conceding 5 goals.
Stuart is confident of his team but also realises that maintaining an unbeaten record can be difficult. “If the boys remain focused and treat every game the same, whether it is a top of the league game or a bottom of the league game, then we have a chance” Seeing this confidence from the assistant manager, it is clear why the team are able to stay motivated and confident through each game.
Although it is hard to pick a star player, Stuart says 1 player has had a standout performance, Lewis Knight who has scored more than 30 goals this season. Stuart said “There has been a lot of star players but we also have some clean sheets that are excellent to see.” These clean sheets are again, due to the teamwork and effort shown by St Murdochs.
St Murdochs still have challenges ahead of them, including playing 2 teams that are at the top end of the league, St Andrews and Lincraig. Stuart commented “These 2 games will be important but we can’t treat them any differently, we have to go into each game with the same mindset.” They are also looking forward to a cup final in which they will be hopeful to pull out a victory.
Stuart had one more thing to say which was “Whatever happens for the rest of this season, this group of players have come a long way in a short amount of time, and they should be proud of their achievements.” The team dynamic for St Murdochs is a huge factor of their success and is made even more obvious by the fantastic atmosphere between players and coaches.